NOW is the time to re-evaluate your organizational structure.
The pandemic has forced businesses into a transformative whirlwind over the last 18 months. For some, it was taking advantage of new opportunities. For others, it was about survival – but the common thread was, change (i.e. the pivot). Regardless, all businesses experienced some form of change. Many business leaders are now going through a new transition and planning for the new normal (whatever the hell that means). Why do we say ‘transition’, because how you operate has likely changed. The buying behaviours of your customers may have shifted. Competitors might have disappeared or increased their market share. Your business could be subject to new health and safety regulations. As a leader, you now need to determine how to respond. For some, you are playing the same game but, the rules have changed. For others, you are playing a different game. Therefore, if you are a prudent business leader (and we know you are), you should be asking yourself, does your organizational structure support your strategic aspirations? Do you have the right people in the right seats to win the game in this new normal? And what exactly are the right seats?
When we talk about organizational structure, why are we so passionate? It is because organizational structure aligns capabilities to support strategic priorities and enable the effective execution of your business aspirations. Ultimately, your organizational structure is a strategic accelerator to growth and success. Although we have no idea what the new normal is. What we do know is that post-pandemic business will not be the same as pre-pandemic business. Now is the ideal time to assess your current capabilities, with the intent of identifying performance and structure gaps. From there, you can redesign an organizational structure that will support both short- and long-term strategic goals.
- You have begun to gain clarity on what you need to do (i.e. your strategy) and what you can achieve (i.e. financial performance) in the new normal. With this clarity, you can determine if your organization is structured in a way that will enable those desired outcomes. When the organizational redesign matches the strategic intentions, your team will be primed to execute and deliver them.
- You have likely changed how you operated in response to the pandemic. This change may have affected business processes or how you serve your customers. You may have increased the scope of service you are offering or are servicing your customers through different channels (e.g. online/digital transformation). According to new data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, the pandemic has accelerated a shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping by approximately five years. If you have had to pivot and change how you operate, you likely need to evaluate how your team works. Consequently, assess if you have the right capabilities and capacity to sustain this change.
- For some, you may have had to cut to survive and, you are faced with a decision on where to add back and how you should do it differently this time.
- For others, you may have experienced a mass exodus of talent. In the 2021 Work Trend Index: Annual Report prepared by Microsoft a staggering 41 percent of the global workforce indicated that they are likely to consider leaving their current employer over the next year. As leaders, you will want to know what roles you will need early on, so you can go after that talent as it comes available. With technology allowing businesses to search for talent beyond their geography, you don’t want to be the last in line.
So, what do you do now?
Plan Your Strategic Goals
Be clear on strategic direction and what needs to change to win in your market. How does the strategic direction change how you operate and serve your customers? What do you need to do differently to win? What capabilities do you require that you don’t have? We strongly encourage you to consider your Customer Experience capability as CX is quickly becoming a leading competitive differentiator for businesses.
Assess Organizational Capabilities
Assess your structure. How does your structure enable that future? Where are pockets of magic within your current organizational structure and how do you recreate those across your new design? How is the organizational structure getting in the way today for both your team and your customers?
Design Your Structure
Now is the fun part, or at least we think so. Based on where you want to go and how you now need to operate, get creative and devise a few ways of structuring your business to achieve this. Do not let roles dictate how you build out your structure options. Allow the capabilities you have and those you require to drive the design. What shifts in your capacity need to occur? What new seats do you require? A strategically designed structure can provide a business with a roster for an A-Team.
Finally, select the target – figure how quickly you transition to the new organizational structure. Is it a big bang? Or, are there specific trigger points (e.g. profit obtained) or process implementations that may dictate how you get there and how fast you get there.
The organizational structure of your business goes beyond lines and boxes. Organizational structure is a tactic to support the strategic direction of your business to continue to support growth and scale. The pandemic left no industry or sector immune to disruption. It shone a light on opportunities that businesses could capitalize on to win in their markets. Now is the time to double down and rethink how you operate.
At Stack’d Consulting we help leaders design their organizations to achieve their strategic priorities and enable the effective execution of their business model. For more information on our services and how we can help your business, contact us.